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Kodak's M-series offers the usual for less

Kodak responds to consumer love of portability, large LCDs and enough megapixels for wall prints.

While the rumor mill surrounding a new Nikon release for DSLR consumers "hots up," as the British press would say, Kodak is addressing its amateur photographer base.

The new M-series budget-priced compact cameras offer color choice, portability, nice LCD screen size and megapixels high enough to make 30x40 inch prints.

Eastman Kodak
Kodak's M753 in copper Eastman Kodak

Notably, these are not the cameras and cell phones with Kodak's own CMOS chips that Kodak President Antonio Perez mentioned we would soon see. Those 5-megapixel cameras are due to come out "in time for the holiday season."

The M753 available now for $149 is a 7-megapixel 0.9-inch slim camera with a 2.5-inch LCD screen and SD/MMC slot that comes in color choices of black, silver, purple, copper, pink and blue. It's counterpart, the 8-megapixel M853, will be available in August for about $179. Also with a 2.5-inch LCD screen, the M853 comes in white, red, graphite, silver and espresso. Both have a 3x optical zoom lens.

Eastman Kodak
Kodak's M883 in red Eastman Kodak

For a little more, you can get a compact camera with a 3-inch LCD screen (go for it) and face detection technology with your 8 megapixels in the M883. It'll be available for $229 this September in silver, black or red. Not willing to pay the extra $30 for a bigger screen and face detection? There's the 8-megapixel M873 for $199 that also comes in a metal alloy body in silver or black. Sorry, no red.